First the infrastructure…

China-Africa: The growing battlefield for digital dominance

By The Africa Report

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Posted on February 11, 2021 13:40

The first wave of telecoms growth in Africa made millionaires – in some cases, billionaires – of investors who bet on Africans spending on mobile phones.

No one is underestimating the potential of the next wave – inter­locking trade, digital money and communications. Certainly not the Chinese, whose technology, communications and finance companies are heavily invested.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency analyst Michael Kimani, doodling on a napkin one day, sketched out the penetration of Chinese companies into East Africa’s mobile internet stack.

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“They are operating with a swarm intelligence,” he says, pointing to the interconnected development-­finance support Chinese companies receive. “They have invested a lot in understanding this market, creating a range of devices from $15 to $500, […] and they research needs, such as long-life batteries for basic phones for rural areas.”

China Mobile is building a new submarine cable, alongside Facebook, Orange and others. The project will be

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